Friday, August 3, 2012

How to Clean and Care for Cast Iron Pan

We love our cast iron cookware here at the Lane-Lovejoy household. Cast iron is a healthy alternative to Teflon-coated nonstick cookware.

We use Lodge brand cast iron pre-seasoned skillets. The "seasoning" is a coat of oil that helps make the pan resistant to sticking. If we were perfect, we'd always remember these cardinal rules of cast-iron cookware care:
  • Don't use soap!
  • Don't put them in the dishwasher to be washed with detergent!
  • Don't soak it!
  • Don't allow to air dry!
  • Do clean with a stiff brush or scouring pad, hot water, and elbow grease. Towel dry.
But we're not perfect, so we need to re-season our pan from time to time. Here's how:
  1. Wash the pan thoroughly with hot, soapy water and a stiff brush or scouring pad.
  2. Dry completely.
  3. Apply a thin, even coating of melted solid vegetable shortening, margarine, or vegetable oil to the pan (inside and out) with a cloth or paper towel.
  4. Place aluminum foil on the bottom rack of the oven to catch any dripping.
  5. Set oven temperature to 350 – 400 degrees F.
  6. Place pan upside down on the top rack of the oven.
  7. Bake the cookware for at least one hour. After the hour, turn the oven off and let the cookware cool in the oven.
  8. Store the cookware uncovered, in a dry place when cooled.

Olivia Lane is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning 

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